Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Parenting sucks sometimes.

Okay, so here's the thing! I'm gonna get right up in some of ya'll's business. Am I going to step on toes? Possibly? Am I talking to be mean . . . Nope!

 I am a stay at home mom of two amazing, wonderful, talented and sometimes feral boys. One is almost 14 and the other is almost 8. The 8-year-old is Autistic so there are some challenges that we face daily, but for the most part, we manage.

I hate summer. I always have, even before I had kids. It's hot. It's sticky. It's humid. It's miserable. It's too bright. It. Just. Sucks. I can't take enough clothes off because c'mon NOOOOOO ONE WANTS TO SEE THAT... **grimaces** I can always put more clothes on if I get too cold.
Those are the primary reasons I hate summer. Another reason I begin to detest summer somewhere around February is the impending no school. NOW I give mad props to all the teachers, faculty, admins, and others that have a hand in our kids’ lives. It takes a village, but somewhere around ... June 1st, I am ready to send them back! Okay, that's just a tiny exaggeration, but you get my drift.   We don't always to get to go on vacations. Our vacations are day trips to the river.
Swim, Romp, Paddling, Lake, Summer, Wet, Rope, Swing

Please don't misunderstand me. My kids are my world.  I love them harder and deeper with each breath I take. However, there are times I don't like them very much. There are some people that have a whole herd of kids and they love spending every single moment with their brood. I APPLAUDE those parents and I admire them, but I'm just not one of them. I have to have time alone. I need time to decompress after a day filled with brotherhood bickering "Mooooooooommmmm, he's touching me!"  or the never-ending mountains of housework that never seems to get done.
I pick something up and put it away only to find about half a dozen more objects lying in the formerly clean place.

I was talking to a girlfriend, and we were sharing our parenting woes. We are both stay at home moms as well as authors. Neither one of us has been able to get a single thing done or meet our deadlines because little stinkers are hovering all day long. We long for bedtime and some intimacy with our husbands but the harsh truth of it all is . . . we are sooooo exhausted by the end of the day, forming words to speak is a job.

Bed, Sleep, Girl, White, Tired, Pillow, Duvet, Blanket
We constantly have to face always being touched with sticky hands or dirty fingers; Never being able to finish a full cup of hot coffee because something always comes up and reheating it three or four times to only forget where you put it and never get to finish it. OR, getting to the point where you are so desperate for a caffeine jolt just to wake you up, you contemplate shoving a fist full of coffee grounds into your mouth until your cheeks puff out like a chipmunk, and then washing it down with a glass of warm water. Yeah! Doesn't sound so great to me either.

Coffee Cup, Coffee, Cup, Coffee Beans, Ecg, Coffee Foam

The constant . . . ."Mom why?" "Mom how" "Mom look" "Mom please". Sometimes it is enough to make me sit in the middle of the floor and rock like a crazy person.

I think sometimes, we lose our voice and who we are as women to the hustle of everyday life and the ones that depend on us the most. We stretch ourselves so thin, that eventually, we snap. YEAH, there's a whole television series about that! OKAY, OKAY THAT WAS JUST A JOKE!!!!
I feel that way sometimes. The best word I've ever been called is mom. However, at the same time, that one single word can be as heavy as the world my shoulders.

I am the last one in bed at night (as I am sure it is with most mothers). There are a few reasons. One, I am a freelance writer and currently late at night is about the ONLY time I can hear myself think. Two, it's the only time I can think. The third and fourth reasons are the most important though... That third reason is asleep with his face on the PlayStation remote, happily drooling everywhere and oblivious to everything going on in his momma's mind. The fourth reason is sleeping with his tablet and DVD player and television because he's scared of the dark and has to have sound to sleep while our dog sleeps protectively at the foot of his bed.

They are the reason I stay up late because I think, plan, dream, and even worry about their future. THEN, once I am done with them, I move on to think about my husband. I find myself questioning everything. Am I being the best wife to him? No, I'm probably not. I'm crabby, sticky from little hands, irritable, I look a mess, and feel like a hammered bag of dog crap. I have, at some point in my day, stepped in mysterious puddles (we have a new puppy), sat on a wet toilet seat, dropped and shattered something, raised my voice, begged, and pleaded. And on some days, I wonder why God gave me children not because I didn't want them because heavens, I wanted children more than anything. No, I wonder why God entrusted these souls to me. I fail daily. I lose my temper, I yell, I cry, and I sometimes feel helpless. Wasn't there someone out there better than me? The answer to that.... is no. God gave them to me because HE knew I needed them and they needed me.

Does it make me a bad mother knowing that I don't like my kids sometimes? Nope! You might think so, and that's okay. I know my life and the constant busyness of each day. I don't question my love for my boys and neither do they. My husband is my best friend and partner. If I didn't have him . . . well... I'm pretty sure I would have been committed a long time ago.

Father And Son, Walking, Love, Child, Joy, Childhood

AND let's not forget the fathers! I come from a traditional home! My husband works hard so I can stay home! He shoulders the financial burden as well as the other things like mowing our yard, fixing the sink, helping others . . . I can't speak for him, but I know things get hard for him too. There's times he doesn't like me. Probably more than I truly realize! BUT I know he loves me, and I have NEVER ONCE in our 16 years of being married questioned that. I'm not the easiest person to live with or even love for that matter. My faults are many and my shortcomings are too many to count, but I know with certainty that God put us together for a purpose.

The short of the matter is . . . It is okay for you as a mom to say, "Please don't touch mommy right now!" or "Please, just leave me alone for a minute."
Take a breath. It is okay for you not to like your kids all the time because I can promise you, there will come a time where they won't like you very much either! Grab a cup of coffee, a glass of wine and go build a pillow fort. Grab a coloring book and find a quiet corner and color because honestly, parenting just sucks sometimes.

We need to stop shaming women for the way they feel. We can be some nasty, vicious creatures, especially when we see another mother struggling. Stop whispering behind your hands and rolling your eyes. "My kid would never do that in public." The truth is . . . YOU don't know what is going on in that situation. The kid could be suffering from sensory overload and because the mother is hyper-aware of all the eyes turned on her, she's trying to hold it all together while her kid is sensing her distress, only perpetuating the situation. We are quick to judge other women by how they act, what they wear, their beliefs, their marriage, how they raise their kids, and just about everything else.

Hold your head high. I don't think parenting is supposed to be easy.
I see you mom! I see you with your messy hair dry shampooed for the fourth day straight because you simply don't have the time or energy to shower. I see you mom . . . the one that constantly runs like an UBER shuttling your kid(s) from recitals, practices, rehearsals, conferences and everything else. I see you mom . . . the one that hasn't shaved her legs in weeks, possibly months because you only have time for a 5-minute shower before the kids get home or the baby wakes up. I see you single mom, pulling double duty as both parents, providing for your kids and working hard to give them all they need.
I see you dads. I see all the hard work you do. I see the love and devotion to your family as you put in long hours at the office. I see you carrying the financial burden as you try to make sure your family has food on the table and a roof over their heads! I. See. You!
You're not alone.
You are loved.
You are precious.

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